The Mayberry Effect

Chris Hudson’s film is a documentary that explores the long time popularity of the Andy Griffith Show and how it has influenced pop culture. The center of the film is the annual Mayberry Days Festival which has, each year, thousands of fans of the shows to Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

A focus of the film is David Browning, an actor who is known as the number one Barney Fife tribute artist, and Allan Newsome, who is a Floyd the Barber tribute artist. They along with other tribute artists entertain fans of the show across the United States. With these people, as well as the festivals happening across the country, it is a way people can stay feeling connected to the classic show.

Some of the fans are serious. I mean, they have collected oodles of memorabilia of all types. Some have even decorated their houses and businesses with Andy Griffith stuff. Others dress up as characters from the show. While others do Bible lessons which are based on lessons from the show. I mean, the devotion is endless.

Through interviews with scholars, experts on pop culture, members of the cast, and relatives of cast members we see how important this show about small town America became. Begin to get the picture of how a television show from the 1960s can still have an effect 69 years later. That means that generations who never saw the show on tv have become fans of it. Why? Why this show?

Though the show was off the air as of 1968, it has never really been off the air appearing on some station at some time of the day since. An endurance which is really rare. The film, after it shows how the show has been effectively passed down from generation to generation, asks the question of whether its legacy will continue on for another 60 years. After watching The Mayberry Effect you are left with the belief that it will as it shows no signs of slowing down. The show is truly embedded in the hearts and minds of lots. It will be kept alive by people like the residents of Mount Airy, which earns lots of income from its association with the Andy Griffith Show. While others just love the morals and way of life illustrated in the show.

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